The Sprint 15 - Draycote winter TT event ( known as the Draycote frozen soft fruit event ) scheduled for the 9th Jan 10 was called off due to adverse weather . Possibly the first time that a Sprint 15 event has been called off due to a frozen lake . After some quick reorganising by Pete Slater the event was rescheduled and piggy backed onto a pre scheduled Super Nova event on the 23st Jan 10 . To fit in with our hosts for the day this meant a 10.30 am start for the first race but even this early start didnít put off a hardy band of 16 , Sprint 15 sailors who were pumped and rearing to go for two back to back races that promised an early finish for a change .
Some pre race tuning by one Draycote sailor and an over reliance upon gravity lead to a spectacular de-masting before the racing had even started. Following some quick repairs all boats were ready and the first race was scheduled to start 5 mins before the Super Nova start.
For the first race the wind was moderate and the start line congested with Sprint 15ís . Steve Sawford and Ed Tuite battled up to the windward mark approaching it on port tack . Sawford rounded first and Dalton was squeezed onto the mark resulting in him dropping 6 places as he completed a 360 penalty turn . Much to the amusement of the chasing pack Sawford sailed off towards the second wing mark before the howls of laughter of his fellow competitors (Particularly Erling Holmberg ) alerted him to his error . Unflappable , Sawford quickly corrected his course and rejoined the race and thanks to some great sailing got straight back into the race and fought back into contention by the first wing mark . Competition in the chasing pack was intense with club rivals James ( Draycote ) and England , Newbold and Gall ( Carsington ) engaged in a tough dual around the first wing mark which resulted in an unassailable lead being established by Gall from James who were both sailing 2 sail mode .
The second lap found the fleet spread out with sailors competing strongly for position at the windward mark , again this lead to the wind ward mark being kissed , this time by our very own Doctor (Simon Giles ) but this was no kiss of life as he kissed good bye to any chance of a top 10 position . The finish was very close with Sawford and Snell battling for glory at the finish line with honours eventually going to Sawford .
The first race, 2 laps completed in just over 37mins, was short but fiercely contended , this left the Sprint 15 fleet hungry for more and rearing to go . The wind had other ideaís and when the second race started the wind decided to drop and the normal high energy Sprint 15 start was reduced to a slow, almost no motion drift . Robin Newbold decided to take full advantage of the slow motion start as amongst much shouting he skilfully mounted the committee boat whilst he pondered how best to deal with the windless start . After disengaging from the committee boat Newbold decided to follow the ď Wind sniffers ď , Erling and Slater who had tacked off to port and sailed into a pocket of wind leaving the rest of the starboard starters creeping along . The slow start meant that it was inevitable that the Super Novaís who started 5 mins behind the Sprint 15ís were soon up with and amongst the Sprint 15 fleet like a flock of swooping swallows .
The front runners Holmberg , Slater , Snell , Sawford and Newbold managed to stay clear of the rest of the fleet and the finish was closely contested between Holmberg and Slater with the experience of Holmberg eventually winning out against the local knowledged of Slater .
New boys to the winter TT circuit Jack Turnball ( Seasalter ) and Mark Norman (Stewartby ) sailed consistently and turned in very good first time results with Mark Norman finishing 5th in the first race .
A special thanks to the Super Nova fleet who extended the hand of sailing camaraderie to the Sprint 15 fleet which was very much appreciated , cheers lads !
Full Series Results available here